STUFFING – Flash Fiction

STUFFING

By Brandon Layng

Ted pulled himself out of the heap of garbage and toys. His young friend, Garrett, had moved out and left him homeless. He scanned the street to the south. Then the north. Downtown was in that direction, probably his best bet for finding what he needed.

Food topped his list. He felt emptied out inside. If he was going to survive and have any hope of being taken into a new home, he had to eat and fill himself out.

Get cuddly.

Get clean.

Get a home.

In that order.

The journey to downtown was fraught with peril. He dodged cars, their eyes like searchlights pinpointing him with their stare. A big slab of black and brown muscle, Ted thought it might be a mutated dog, with a spiked collar chased him for a block and a half. The dog must have gotten loose from a yard, three links of chain hung off the collar.

He managed to lose the dog by climbing into a dumpster, but not before his leg was nearly ripped from his hip. After twenty minutes had passed, he poked his head over the lip of metal bin. The Rottweiler/Hellhound mix was waiting patiently.

A scruffy tabby wandered into the alley, did a double-take at the dog, realized its mistake and made a beeline into traffic – the dog hot on its tail.

Trouble gone, it occurred to Ted that food might be right under his butt if he actually looked for it. He scanned the pile, deciding on a place to start. A black spot buzzed in front of his eyes. He swatted at the noisome fly with a paw. He enjoyed the splat as the pest connected with the inside of the dumpster.

Bracing against the metal rim, he began rummaging through the heap of trash. His nub of a tail twitched as he rooted around crumpled bank statements and left-over Chinese food.

Buried underneath a computer monitor, his black eyes spied the treasure he’d been digging for. Well, not quite the thing he’d hoped to find – a nice synthetic cotton blend would be nice – but it was good enough.

He popped the pink insulation into his mouth and hopped down to the pavement.

With a smile on his terry cloth face, Ted adjusted his bowtie and skipped to the alley’s mouth.

The insulation left him stuffed, and it would surely itch on the way.

All he had to do now, was find a carwash or birdbath, then place himself in the path of a kid. He’d be home free.

***********************************************************************************************************

If you enjoyed this little tale feel free to post a comment. Hopefully, I’ll have some more flash fiction pieces like this I can put on the site in the future. If I get enough of a response I’ll make sure to keep posting them while I send others off into the submissions pile.

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4 Responses to “STUFFING – Flash Fiction”

  1. That was clever and so not what I had originally thought. Nice twist.

    • Thank you Nadia! I appreciate that you took the time to read it and comment. I’m really glad you enjoyed it. “Stuffing” is actually sort of connected to another story I wrote called “Daddy Long-legs” I hope to find a home for. Hopefully it finds publication and you get to find out what happened to Ted’s owner.

      • You’re welcome! I try to comment on everything I like, but sometimes it’s difficult to find the right words. I know I prefer comments to likes on my own posts, especially constructive feedback. I wish you luck on getting the story published. I know how hard that can be. Have you looked at NewPages.com? They have a call for submissions page that I go to very often.

  2. Thank you. No I haven’t heard of them. I’ll make sure to check it out. Since Duotrope changed to subscription it’s kind of hard to keep up on new markets when you’re cash strapped, lol. I’ll also make sure to put some time aside the next few days to check out your site as well. New sites to follow are always on my to-do list.

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